October's ANC 2E Meeting
The October meeting of ANC 2E did its best to deal with the unusually high influx of problems facing the community. The first major problem was an unexpected lack of seating accommodation, as the modest-sized Heritage room, in the Georgetown Visitation School, found itself overrun with community members. All present were waiting to hear news regarding police efforts, in response to the recent crime wave, and updates on the Tudor Place preservation plan, among the other orders of business.
Metropolitan Police Department Lieutenant John Hedgecock was brought in to discuss the recent crime increse in the neighborhood. “Regrettably, I don’t have a lot of good news,” he said. The recent spike in crime is a trend begun in Georgetown that is extending into the West End and Dupont Circle. The most brazen crime is surely the holding up of an armored truck employee delivering money to the BB&T Bank on Wisconsin. Four men in an unmarked black van intercepted the deliverer on his way into the bank, took the case of money, and fled. They abandoned the van a few blocks down the road, attempting to set it on fire, and made off in a separate getaway vehicle.
No one has been caught or identified.
The other crimes appear unrelated, but no less than ten robberies have occurred on the numbered and lettered streets of Georgetown over the past two weeks. Some criminals seem to be after iPhones and electronic equipment, devices, their attention compromised.
What is particularly alarming is that these crimes are happening at odd and unpredictable hours of the day: mid-afternoon, late at night, and early in the morning. They are happening in broad daylight. In response, Lieutenant Hedgecock has, “Increased efforts, reorganized strategies, and upped street coverage to respond to recent and frequent reports,” he said. He warned particularly that the police have had numerous arrests on the 3500 block alone and cautions people to be careful and aware in that area.
In lighter news, the new left-bound turn signal at M St. and Wisconsin is reported to be working beautifully during its hours of operation.
With Bill Skelsey and Aaron Golds retiring from the ANC board (SMD 03 and SMD 04 respectively), and no other board members facing much in the way of competition for their seats, the new member-elects spoke, presenting their stance on community issues.
Jake Sekka, a Sophomore at Georgetown University pursuing a major in Government and a concentration in philosophy, will be running on behalf of SMD 04, the University District, pledging to represent the student voice on the commission and “ensure safety and economic prosperity in our community.”
Georgetown resident Jeff Jones, who has been living at 3500 and P St., will be running for Bill Skelsey’s seat.
Tudor Place Executive Director Leslie Buhler outlined a $10 million expansion and renovation plan for Tudor Place, the historic estate between 31st and 32nd Street.
As made clear by an opinion column in this issue of the Georgetowner (page 8, “From the Neighbors of Tudor Place”), the surrounding residents are hesitant about a number of the proposed renovation aspects and thoroughly distraught with the dismissive attitude Tudor Place has shown toward them. Granted, on the whole, they’re on board with its preservation, recognizing Tudor Place as a landmark of community and historical significance.
The renovation proposals include a new gatehouse, storage and archive space, and an education and visitors center. One of the main concerns among Georgetown residents was, of course, the potential increase in traffic congestion and visitors that would be brought about by the new facility.